•  Faust
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I've been given the arduous task of building a gaming monster PC for my friend before he goes to University. My budget is $800/450 which doesn't include a sound card, speakers, mouse, keyboard or monitor because he already has those.

It's been a while since i built my PC so ive kind of lost the plot in terms of what the latest and best components are so I really need some advice please!

This is the spec I drafted up quickly last night:

Athlon 2800XP
Unsure about Heatsink/Cooling - needs to be very quiet
Abit NF7 Mobo
120GB Maxtor HD
Corsair Value Select 2x512mb PC3200 DDR RAM
Radeon 9800SE 128MB
16x Lite-On DVD Drive
Pioneer DVR-108 DVD-RW
Unsure about case (suggestions?)
Around 400W PSU?

Are there any suggestions anyone can offer as to what components would give me more bang for my buck? I've heard the mobile Athlon processors can be overclocked to high speeds - would this save money? What kind of ram would i need for this and how difficult would overclocking be if im inexperienced?

All this PC has to be is quiet, fast at running games (mainly online FPS'), upgradeable and under $800. Someone please help meeeee!

  •  Jordan
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"All this PC has to be is quiet, fast at running games (mainly online FPS'), upgradeable and under $800"

To be honest it's impossible. Tell your frind he needs to compromise. If it has to be upgradable then look at getting an Athlon 64 2800+ for sure. The XP line isn't really upgradable. I can help you with the quietness once you have selected your internl components. A good start is the Antec SLK BQE case which includes a 350W PSU (all you need). Also go for 512MB RAM for now and a 9800 Pro as you can upgrade the RAM later. That actually sounds quite good! Price that up and get back to me (I'm from the UK so I dunno about prices in $).

EDIT: Also, for quiteness avoid the Maxtor HD. Go for a samsung and if you can't find one a Seagate.
You should definetly dump the 9800SE. THe SE version sucks! THe most quiet CPU cooler would be the Zalman CNPS7000-Cu, but that'll cost you about 40$.
the silent boost isn't too bad either the zalman is quieter but bigger and costlier

AMD Athlon 64 2800+ = $150
AOpen "AK86-L" K8T800 = $90
Antec Sonata w/ 380W PSU = $98
SAMSUNG 80GB = $63
Corsair Value (512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 = $153
NEC 16X Double Layer DVDRW Drive = $80
Thermaltake SILENT BOOST = $22

That is a bit over $800 you can save money by only getting 512mb of memory which cuts $70 off the price,
  •  Jordan
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Then fan on the 9800 Pro would sound horrendus in that system however. Also the Silent boost will be pretty noisey, it's decent but if the rest of the PC is as quiet as this would be it will stand out along with the 9800 Pro fan. The SLK3700 BQE is quieter than the Sonata out of the box mainly because the stock PSU is much quieter.
  •  Faust
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I've taken your suggestions into account (thanks btw) and this is the new spec that ive come up with so far...

Athlon64 2800
Gigabyte GA-K8N Mobo
Corsair Value Select 512mb PC3200 DDR
80GB Seagate Barracuda HD
CD/DVD Drives depend on how much money I have left after case etc.
Case - my friend says he'll be happy with a cheap case i.e Heatsink....any ideas
Fans....dependant on case I guess.

What do you guys think?

Any more suggestions/help you can give me with this project is greatly appreciated thanks!
  •  Jordan
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If he want' a quiet PC then is going to need a quiet PSU and case fans. You could buy a cheap case and get some good quality quiet fans and PSU but your best option is to get an Antec SLK3700 BQE. You simply won't get a quiet PC by opting for a cheap PSU and fans.